Fat lady prepares to begin her 2010 first round tour

Fresh off her regular season tour that finished off fourteen of the thirty NHL team’s season, the fat lady is once again preparing for her first-round playoff tour. Last we saw of her, she was singing a tune for the New York Rangers on the last Sunday of the season. The Tuesday night prior, she was doing so for Atlanta…a frequent stop on her regular season tour.

Now she looks to begin her post-season schedule in the northeast as both the New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators face elimination, down 3 games to 1 in their series with Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Tomorrow night, she’ll find her way to Buffalo and D.C. as the Sabres and Canadiens will be hearing the hefty soprano if they fail to defeat Buffalo and Washington in game five of their matchups.

Later tonight, the seventh-seeded Predators will look to push their advantage to 3-1 over the second-seeded Blackhawks as game-four of that battle will be played in Nashville. Colorado and San Jose will also play game five with that series knotted at two-apiece. Tomorrow night, Los Angeles and Vancouver will look to un-knot their series when game-five is played in British Columbia while Detroit travels back to Phoenix with that series tied at 2-each as well.

Thus, the chubby chick will know who to begin preparing her swan song for in those matchups.

So you can see, after about a week and a half of rest, the fat lady will be on the move quite a bit between now and the beginning of next week. It’s a good thing that she’s so quick for such a big gal.

Regarding tonight’s action…the Flyers have gotten themselves to the point of a possible 7 vs. 2 seed upset by way of good ‘ol fashioned tough, physical, hard-nosed hockey. Goalie Brain Boucher, (1.98 GAA & .925 SV%), has to date out done his counterpart Martin Brodeur, (2.98 GAA & .886 SV%)…and the Flyers have held the games close, finding a way to eke out a pair of one-goal wins and a 4-1 game four victory that was 2-1 entering the third period.

Ilya Kovalchuk has a pair of goals, six points and an EVEN rating with 6 PIM.

The Penguins stumbled in game-one of their battle with the Senators, losing 5-4 at home, but have taken the next three games by a combine score of 13-7. Sidney Crosby leads the way with 11 overall points in the post-season, (4 goals and 7 assists) and the Pittsburgh defense has held Ottawa to just 24.5 shots per game, the lowest average in the playoffs so far.

Marc-Andre Fleury has a 3.01 GAA and .878 SV%.

Meanwhile, Montreal really has to be kicking themselves…they were leading 4-1 in game-two after taking the first game from the top-seeded Capitals. But since that time, the Caps have stormed back to win that match 6-5 in overtime and have outscored the Habs 16-5 since the 18:23 mark of the second period of game-two. Niclas Backstrom leads the attack with 5 goals and 4 assists and is tied with teammate Tom Poti with a +8 rating, which leads all skaters so far. Alex Ovechkin has 4 goals and 4 assists and is a +7.

Since relieving Jose Theodore last weekend, Semyon Varlamov is 3-0 with a 2.44 GAA and .920 SV%.

Daniel Paille, Johnny Boychuk, Marco Sturm and the Boston Bruins skated away with a 3-2 overtime win Wednesday night...taking a 3 games to 1 lead in their series with Buffalo (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Daniel Paille, Johnny Boychuk, Marco Sturm and the Boston Bruins skated away with a 3-2 overtime win Wednesday night...taking with them a 3 games to 1 lead in their series with Buffalo (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

And in one of the most entertaining series to watch for me, the Boston Bruins find themselves on the doorstep of a round-two appearance by edging the Sabres in some very close, very exciting games. The Bruins have come out victorious in two one-goal games and a 5-3 win in which an empty-netter provided the two-goal margin. Last night saw Boston take a 3-2 decision in double overtime…the winning goal scored by Miro Satan while Drew Stafford sat in the penalty box serving a too-many-men-on-the-ice minor for the Sabres.

All Tuukka Rask has done is go 3-1 with a 1.80 GAA and .939 SV%.

One last thing for you to ponder…something I help but think about the other night while watching Philly beat New Jersey. If you look back on the five-game losing streak during last month’s Thrashers March to from the Playoffs, you’ll see that four of the teams they lost to failed to make post-season play. Three of those teams… Tampa Bay, Carolina and Columbus…finished below Atlanta in the standings. But if the Thrashers simply beaten those teams and gone just 3-2 during that stretch, they would have finished with 89 points in the standings and seventh in the Eastern Conference.

If so, we would be playing the Devils and Philly would have to be dealing with Washington at this time.

I know, I know…”ifs” and “buts” and all that….

139 comments Add your comment

Spud Webb

April 22nd, 2010
11:16 am

First?????????

Spud Webb

April 22nd, 2010
11:20 am

Rask is a stud. The guy is rock solid. That alone gives the B’s (hate them) a chance in any series. He’s playing as well as any goalie.
The frogs, HAVE TO BE KILLING THEMSELVES. They’ve not recovered from the huge lead they blew on Saturday night. Could’ve been up 2-0!!!!!!!! WOW what a turnaround.
Pens will roll Ottowa again. SHOW SOME HEART Senators, good lord.

glovesave29

April 22nd, 2010
11:26 am

The diving save Rask made last night was stellar…only to be topped by this moment in an AHL game last season.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUVGz0MVyKI

Russian

April 22nd, 2010
11:26 am

Fleyrs is bad condition right now. They lost Simon Gagne and Jeff Carter. It will very effective to Philly. I think it will be 7 games. For other pair: Ovi will take Canadiens at 5 games. Crosby finsh Ottawa at 5 games. Boston and Buffalo will be interesting, it might be 6 or 7 games.

J(Z)

April 22nd, 2010
11:28 am

I assume we should we be rooting against New Jersey? I refuse to root for anything about the city of Philthadelphia, but I can root against New Jersey…What are the stakes of the NJ draft pick? If they lose in the first round where would that pick be? Are the 8 teams that lose in round plotted on the draft board right then? Or does it all stay in reverse order of the standings except for the teams in the Finals???

GaVaHokie

April 22nd, 2010
11:28 am

Rask, another in a long line of guys who should still be a Maple Leaf… he could be on his way to a Conn Smythe trophy, “Cam Ward” style.

GaVaHokie

April 22nd, 2010
11:36 am

In other, sad news… the fat lady is singing for “Bobby and June’s” on 14th Street. Great place. Hate to see it go. :(

http://www.11alive.com/rss/rss_story.aspx?storyid=143030

Savannah Blueland Fan

April 22nd, 2010
11:36 am

That fat lady was caught complaining to the Winnipeg Sun that her vocal cords were strained by repeated performances in Atlanta. She was quoted as saying the entire month of March was a “must win” for the Thrashers and that she was trotted out after repeated losses so many times that her ability to perform during the playoffs is now questionable. The NHL may be forced to resort to the old-fashioned cane hook followed by a rapidly falling curtain.

Dwayne

April 22nd, 2010
11:40 am

Do not appreciate yall calling my “high maintenece beauty queen girl friend” a singing fat lady!!!!

Smoothie

April 22nd, 2010
11:44 am

“Nope, not to difficult at all…It’s found right here on the AJC.com sports page by way of your comments. You guys provide some of the best, most informative, most entertaining Thrashers/NHL Playoff coverage found anywhere in Thrasherville.”

Awwww shucks Mr. Bill, we are as entertaining as any blog in the NHL!

Matt

April 22nd, 2010
11:45 am

I shudder to say this but, “GO FLYERS!!!” (I feel unclean now)

Somaatl95

April 22nd, 2010
11:52 am

Go easy on the Habs – they can’t help that they spend more time drawing ponies, unicorns and rainbows on their hockey sticks than actually preparing for their playoff games. I’m happy as long as the Habs and Nucks don’t make the final. As much as Canada rips on our Thrashers I would love to say for another year “Hockey is your sport? Then why have USA teams been winning the cup for over a decade now?”
And its nice to see the “#17 Curse” is infecting the Jersey Shore. Maybe “Snooki” and all of those losers can be filmed at a Devils game watching Kovalchoke help give the playoffs away…. just like he did for Atlanta.

Hokey Clisters

April 22nd, 2010
11:52 am

Well ……….that rascally Rask. No wonder Boston would not blink an eye at getting Kovy (We had to be asking for Rask).

Bruins new tolerance policy for future trade scenarios: Don’t tell and don’t ask: remember Kovy vs Rask.

Rawhide

April 22nd, 2010
12:02 pm

I shudder to say this but, “GO FLYERS!!!” (I feel unclean now)

Matt – Yeah…kinda make one feel the need to take a shower after saying it outloud, eh?

Awwww shucks Mr. Bill, we are as entertaining as any blog in the NHL!

Smoothie – Don’t sell yourselves short. The comments section of this forum and C-Viv’s contains nothing but the best in regards to the discussion of Thrashers chat. Where else in these parts can you get such a wide variety of insight…the type of wit…the banter…the broad array of topics and discussions???

Well….WELL…WELL…???

Do not appreciate yall calling my “high maintenece beauty queen girl friend” a singing fat lady!!!!

Dwayne – Look, I’m not trying to be rude here…but when she goes swimming, she leaves a ring around the lake!

Spud Webb

April 22nd, 2010
12:05 pm

Very interesting about rask is the Tim Thomas situation. boston owes him a lot of money over the next 3 (maybe 4???) years. Does anyone (Tiller) know how the cap works? Say the cut him, is that a cap “hit” still (similiar to the NFL) or what??? I’m not familiar with this. Whos going to take that salary on in a trade???????? I believe he’s what 34 or 35 years old??? Hamstrung that teams payroll for sure!!!!

Jeff97

April 22nd, 2010
12:06 pm

Drew Stafford probably did not sleep well last night. That was an obvious too many men penalty.
It was one of the best goaltending duel’s I have seen this year and the first OT especially was electric.

One can only wonder (and drool) at the prospect of that type of playoff game happening in our building someday…

World Be Free

April 22nd, 2010
12:14 pm

Brunes need to get better; they ened to dump Thomas on whoever will take him. Not sure he’s worth the risk at the cost and years. soemthing happened to him this year.

Fat Lady is warming up in Buffalo; she’s gonna break out my favorite Polish polka, the “Too Fat” polka. “I don’t want her, you can have her, she’s too fat for me, HEY! she’s too fat for me, HEY!”.

Sabres don’t have the fight in them. Sabes will go down, the fans will bitch and forget within the next few weeks. No such shakeups in Buffalo-status quo prevails.

Lou Lam is railing his guys over being down 3-1. Been a LONG time since the devils advanced past the 2nd round. The finals results of the Kovy trade may bring the luster off Lou Lam in NJ.

Go Nashville! Not that I dislike the Hawks, but I would like to see the Preds go on a long run. Time for Barry Trotz, one of my favorite coaches to get rewarded for his work.

Anton Volchenkov’s wants $5M/year long term-anyone interested?

Red Light

April 22nd, 2010
12:15 pm

Guys, we’re just 3.5 hours away from Nashville. They play in the other conference. They are what we hope to become with smallish salaries, a team concept, a coach that implements and sticks to a system while the GM brings in new guys year after year to take the place of others who sought greener pastures. Now, they’re close to grasping their first-ever playoff series win against a team many thought would dispose of the Preds in short order in the series. The poll was 107 Chicago, 18 Nashville in the prognostication blog, but I could only find Sharon, Joe Friday and myself who actually chose them to win (I’m sure there were others). This is a team that is “outmanned” talent-wise but rarely gets outworked. Their first-ever No. 1 draft pick, David Legwand, still plays for the team, is captain and is one of the best defensive forwards in the league. On Saturday, they will make their third (non-VERSUS) national TV appearance on NBC since the lockout in Chicago. Jump on the Preds bandwagon for a few more games, weeks, months or whatever it comes to! There’s no harm in pulling for the underdog.

Go Preds

World Be Free

April 22nd, 2010
12:18 pm

Jeff-

What do these players have in common?

Drew Stafford
Jochem Hecht
Jason Pominville
Henrik Tallender
Derek Roy
Toni Lydman

Answer-they are all current Sabres, that should be former Sabres.
I am sure there’s a fashion show somewhere that could use these “guys”. They will bring their own purses.

Russian

April 22nd, 2010
12:21 pm

**to WBF**
Anton wants $5 per year. If we keep Pasha Kubina and trade Hainsi, we could talk to his agent.

World Be Free

April 22nd, 2010
12:29 pm

Russian!
Where have you been?
I like Anton’s game and I think you do too.
Not sure we could dump Hainsey, but it sounds good.

Red Light

April 22nd, 2010
12:36 pm

Pass at $5 million

Spud Webb

April 22nd, 2010
12:41 pm

WBF, two I have to disagree on are Roy and Hecht. Both are NOT flashy and are what they are. Responsible and usually pretty reliable. 2 or 3 liners that won’t hurt you and score 20, play both ways well.
The problem is Buffalo doesn’t have a true stud, nor a true sniper at this point. Maro Satan, good flipping lord!!!!!!!!!!!!

DWTOO

April 22nd, 2010
12:42 pm

WBF – Just ask Joe McGrath. Sure he’s putting on a fashion show right now. Maybe one of the Sabres will “wiggle” his parts at them.

MB

April 22nd, 2010
12:59 pm

WBF, the Devils made the semis in both ‘06 and ‘07, so it hasn’t been all that long since they made it out of the first round. They were, however, crushed in the 2nd round both those seasons, so maybe that makes it feel like they lost in the first.

Regardless, hats off to the Flyers and especially Brian Boucher…they’ve played a heck of a series up to this point. Hard to believe these are the same Flyers that our very own Thrashers dominated just one month ago with Boucher acting like a S’mores-starved Cub Scout collecting marshmallows in his net.

Meanwhile, apparently Lou has taken to smashing jars of Smuckers in the locker room in an effort to rouse the somnambulant Devils. They’ll get some help with Carter and Gagne out, but with few goals from Kovy and Parise and a complete disappearing act from the rest of NJ’s “scorers,” it’ll still be a tough row to hoe. With Marty on the decline (by his standards) and seeing the firepower of the Caps and Pens, Lou took a big gamble by bringing in #17 to try to keep up. Needless to say, it’s not exactly working out as he had planned…and it may well come to an end tonight.

On the other coast, I just caught the 2nd period of last night’s Kings v. Canucks tilt…now THAT was some fun hockey to watch. Hope some of the non-hockey fans who got caught up in the Olympic excitement have been tuning in to these first round games. If so, then I think they’ll be hooked.

World Be Free

April 22nd, 2010
1:01 pm

Spud-Buffalo had 2 playmakers that fit perfectly in their system, Drury and Briere. Both were allowed to walk for nothing and the team hasn’t been the same since. Cody McCormick was a bigger difference maker last night the the “core players” that are supposed to carry this team. Buffalo needs a total makeover starting with the GM. We tore down The Aud now time to tear down the team. No more hobbitts on Buffalo! Get Ted Nolan back and play some physical hockey!

DWTOO-one of many funny scenes in “Slap Shot”. Johnny went on top say that the only one not running for the exits will be his wife. Classic.

Riceowls

April 22nd, 2010
1:11 pm

Montreal down 3-1, Ottawa down 3-1, Kovy down 3-1. Life is good.

(C’mon LA and Colorado).

Now, off to Nashville to cheer for the Preds so Hossa is down 3-1.

Badger Bob

April 22nd, 2010
1:13 pm

J(Z) – we do beneifit from an early NJ departure. The draft seeding is in order of regular season standings among the teams eliminated in any round. That means the eight teams that lose in the opening round are seeded 15 – 22. Since NJ finished behind only WAS, SJ, CHI, PHO and VAN, our NJ draft pick will be 22nd minus the number of those five teams that also lose in the first round.

So I guess we need to cheer for the Habs, Avs, Preds, Wings and Kings so that pick becomes #17 (and how ironic would that be?).

Savannah Blueland Fan

April 22nd, 2010
1:16 pm

I am loathe to criticize the Versus network because I am thrilled to have hockey on TV; truly I am. But so far in the playoffs, whenever there are two games on at the same time, they show one game and settle for “a look in” on the second game and EVERY SINGLE TIME it’s the second game that I would rather be watching.

GaVaHokie

April 22nd, 2010
1:24 pm

J(Z)… yeah, what Badger said… we had a lengthy discussion about it on Rawhide’s last blog, if you have time.

So far, it looks like only Washington might be safe. So, the highest pick we’re staring at right now would be 18th… but no less than 22nd.

Of course, this is all dependent on a Philly WIN tonight… go Flyers.

Badger Bob

April 22nd, 2010
1:27 pm

Spud Webb – I believe if you buy out players over 35 you don’t get any reduction in cap hit. So ya, the Brunes are not looking good with Thomas’ contract (6M, 5M, 3M for next three years, with $5M cap hit each year).

Rawhide

April 22nd, 2010
1:27 pm

So I guess we need to cheer for the Habs, Avs, Preds, Wings and Kings so that pick becomes #17 (and how ironic would that be?).

Badger Bob – Root for Avs, Predators and Kings? Not only can I can do that…I’m already doing that!

Wings and Habs….not so much.

Alan R.

April 22nd, 2010
1:39 pm

Lou is apparently pretty pissed off about the Devils’ performance as of late.

DWTOO

April 22nd, 2010
1:51 pm

SBF – Know how you feel re VS. As the lone Flyers fan on this blog, and feeling like the red headed stepchild, I am abolsutely sick of watching Sid the Crotch Punching Squid, and the Pens against the gutless/heartless Sens. Each Devils/Flyers game has been up against the “Face of the NHL”. And tonight looks more of the same. Probably should’ve bought the Center Ice package.

So, with a Flyers win not only see the Flyers advance, but, the double pleasure of watching Kovalchuk slink off to spend some quality time with his family.

kracker

April 22nd, 2010
1:55 pm

DWTOO – Go to a sports bar, maybe.

Red Light

April 22nd, 2010
2:05 pm

Alan R.

Did you expect him to throw a party down 3-to-1 to the 7th place team? Just saying…

Alan R.

April 22nd, 2010
2:09 pm

Red Light: Yes.

Seriously though, I didn’t expect to see something about a smashed jar of jelly.

lola

April 22nd, 2010
2:10 pm

SBF: Agreed! I kinda wanna watch #17 go down tonight ….

Lou Lamoriello

April 22nd, 2010
2:13 pm

Actually, I was letting everyone know that they’d be promoted if we lost the first round.

glovesave29

April 22nd, 2010
2:14 pm

Ya take Lamariello’s jelly, add in some of Schoenfeld’s donuts…

Russian

April 22nd, 2010
2:16 pm

If you do not have VS or Center Ice on your TV you can always see hockey on http://www.ATDHE.net
It is absolutely free.
Also #17 is not going down EASELY. Game will be very interesting to watch.

lola

April 22nd, 2010
2:19 pm

Yeah, that’s my point … I wish I could watch that one instead of the Pens/Sens game

lola

April 22nd, 2010
2:22 pm

And thanks for the website…

DWTOO

April 22nd, 2010
2:23 pm

Yeah kracker, but, the couch is soooooo comfortable. Thanks Russian – I’ll check that out tonight.

Jeff97

April 22nd, 2010
2:27 pm

#17 might be going down tonight, but he has probably been their best player. 6pts in 4 games. I was hoping for 0 -2pts for the series. Of course, it will be status quo for him as he has gotten his points, but his teams go nowhere. Dont you think the GM’s in the NHL will be using that when negotitating with him? Kovy gets 7.5 – 8.5million for about 5-7 years.

Red Light

April 22nd, 2010
2:28 pm

Brian Campbell is a game-time decision tonight for the Blackhawks, which means if he is inserted in the lineup that the Preds will score six goals instead of four.

Jeff97

April 22nd, 2010
2:31 pm

Red Light – somehow I think your glad that we did not sign Campbell to that 7 million per year contract.

Cliff Fletcher

April 22nd, 2010
2:38 pm

It looks like Doug Risebrough could be the next GM of the NY Rangers. Sather would be moved to a “new” position in the organization.
The Rangers are the Thrashers all over again.

Sather and Waddell screw up and they both get promotions!

WTF!

World Be Free

April 22nd, 2010
2:41 pm

Jeff-#17 is new Jersey’s best player becuase nobody else on the team touches the puck when he’s on the ice. I’ll be interested who will sign him and how close he will come to the $10M he rejected from Atlanta.

I still say he will .60/.65 cents on the dollar compared tot he contract he turned down.

Savannah Blueland Fan

April 22nd, 2010
2:46 pm

Did I hear a WTF???? To early for tequila, but eh……why not!